VENICE HAS two things you notice right away: water and tourists. The major activity involves both, wherein the tourists take pictures of the water. I’ve been doing my share, and after just three days here I already have 388 photos of canals and lagoons—some with gondolas, some without, many with the moon reflected in the rippling water, others with the sun, as if there aren’t hundreds of books filled with the exact same photos that I could buy. But of course none of those have me in them.
Apparently the only way to really capture all the beauty, glamour and romance of this magical city with you in it is with a selfie stick. They are ubiquitous. Gondolas full of tourists glide by, and the occupants of the gondolas are not looking at the passing scenery, they are instead saying “cheese” (or possibly “formaggio”) at their iPhones perched on the ends of their selfie sticks. The stick allows them to get much more of the scenery in the photo, so when they get home and look at the pictures they can see a lot more of where they were.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, you’re right —I could buy one here. But then I’d have to carry it around, and at my age someone might mistake it for a cane, and that is simply not the look I’m going for. As it is, I’m taking pictures of the scenery without me in it, and hoping I’ll remember I was there.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.